— Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed into law one of the nation's toughest gun-control measures and the first to be enacted since the shooting last month in Newtown.
The bill passed the Democratic-led Assembly Tuesday afternoon, a day after sweeping through the Republican-majority Senate.
The bill expands the state's ban on assault weapons, puts limits on the capacity of gun clips and has new measures to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
Cuomo pressed for passage of the bill after a gunman killed 20 students and six female educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
The measure also mandates a life sentence without parole for anyone who kills a first responder. Just two weeks after the massacre in Connecticut, a gunman ambushed and killed two firefighters responding to a fire he had set near Rochester.
At a signing ceremony in Albany, Cuomo said provisions of the bill, such as limiting gun clips to seven rounds and mental health screening for weapons purchases, were essential to making New Yorkers safer.
"People who are mentally ill should not have access to guns, that's common sense," Cuomo said. "That's probably the hallmark of this bill, coming up with a system that allows for mental-health screens."
"Seven bullets in a gun. Why? Because the high-capacity magazines that give you the capacity to kill a large number of human beings in a very short period of time is nonsensical to a civil society," Cuomo said.
Gun rights advocates lashed out at Cuomo and New York's law, decrying the speed at which the measure moved through the legislature. The state's lawmakers have been back at work for less than a week.
"The National Rifle Association and our New York members are outraged at the draconian gun control bill that was rushed through the process late Monday evening," the NRA, the nation's most powerful gun rights lobby group, said in a statement.
"These gun control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime," the NRA said. "Sadly, the New York Legislature gave no consideration to that reality."